Happiness, reflection, Well-being

Nothing New at New Year

So, here we are.  New Year’s Day 2023. 

As ever, it’s a period to reflection and for many, a time to make new plans for a new year.  

And as ever I’ve been bombarded with messages and adverts for things to commit to in the new year.  Things that will make me thinner, happier.  Things that will fix everything that is apparently broken within me.

However, the main realisation of 2022 is that there is nothing about me that needs fixing.  There never was.  It was just a belief in everything I see around me telling me that there is something about me that isn’t quite good enough and in actual fact that is all they are, beliefs and stories.  Stories that are generally based in some money-making opportunity.

It’s been quite refreshing to be able to ignore all of the guff that has come my way.  Some have made me smile.  Some have made me chuckle.  Others I have found quite terrifying in the way they blatantly target the insecurities of people.  There have been several sharp intakes of breath when I see how much people charge.

Although, one email that I received did get me thinking.  It was twelve different themes throughout the year.  The idea was that by investigating a different theme each month you would emerge from 2023 fixed.  Whilst I didn’t buy into the idea of investigating several aspects of my personality that required fixing, I did quite like the idea of doing something different every month – just for the challenge.

However, I know from many years of experience that it won’t happen.  I will plan the year and come up with all kinds of exciting things to do each month and by the middle of January it will all have gone right out of the window as something else catches my eye, something pink, or extra sparkly.  But there are a few things I would like to try in 2023.  Not resolutions as such, but things I would just like to try.

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

I am going to do Dry January.  At the end of the day any excuse not to have to drink for a month and I’m there, tea cup in hand!

I’ve also embraced a challenge by @shadowbooker on Instagram to read 12 books recommended by 12 friends.  I quite like the idea of reading more fiction, but I am in a bit of a rut and don’t really know what to read anymore. 

I’d like to do a month long yoga challenge.  I have signed up to Yoga with Adriene’s January challenge – but expect I will end up picking and choosing from a variety of yoga styles throughout the month.  The penny has finally dropped that I don’t have to be perfect in all of my poses, it’s the turning up that counts and if I spend the whole 30 minutes in corpse pose then that’s just fine.

I have also set myself the challenge of walking 12,500 steps per day.  I know that the whole 10,000 steps thing has been proven to be an arbitrary amount that’s not based in any scientific evidence, however, walking 12,500 steps versus sitting down for the same length of time has got to be good for me in the long run!

I’m going to try Women’s Walking Football.  It’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while but struggled to find anywhere to do it.  Now I have and I’m very excited.  I’m also hoping it will be a good way to meet new people.

Other than that most of the other things I’d like to do are creative.

I’d like to make some brooches.

I’d like to finish many of the projects that I’ve already started and publish the patterns I have already written.

I’d like to try embroidery.  Properly try embroidery, so that I can add embellishments to my clothes and the aforementioned brooches.

I’d really love to make something using Irish Crochet. It fascinates me.  Very time consuming, but I’d love to try to make something properly. 

I’d like to become more skilled at creating new things from old things.  People regularly come into the charity shop where I volunteer and buy lots of clothes which they are going to alter to become completely different items of clothing.  I would love to be able to do that.

I’d like to become a Three Principles Practitioner.  I have benefitted so much from understanding the Three Principles that I’d like to be able to share that understanding with others.

I’d like to have a go at making a podcast.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear the tip top witterings of a middle aged woman from Stoke-on-Trent!

I’d like to take my camera out with me more and create a visual record of the year

I’d also like to try to find a way of setting up some kind of community space for people to meet up together in Albufeira.  Like the equivalent of the church hall in the UK.  A place where the WI might meet, where mother and baby groups meet, knit and natter.  The usual stuff!    

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

None of these things really count as resolutions, nor do they fit conveniently into monthly challenges.  And from experience I know that if I try to pigeon hole them into month long challenges chances are I won’t do them.  One thing I have most learned this year is if things are meant to be, they will happen.  If they aren’t they won’t!  I think I always knew this, I just got caught up in the beliefs that there had to be more to life than going with what turned up in the moment.  Just embracing each day as it arrives has been very refreshing.  I’ve learned so much about those things I do enjoy and those that I don’t.  I’ve also learned that forcing things because you want them to be a certain way really isn’t the best way forward and if at all possible, it is much easier all round if you let things evolve in their own time and in their own way. 

Sadly, being incredibly impatient, I find this very frustrating at times.

There have been some things that I started in 2022 that I’d like to continue.

I’ve started to make some inroads into living in a more environmentally friendly way:

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com
  • I’ve switched to soap instead of shower gel
  • I’ve started using an Eco Egg for clothes washing rather than detergent. I admit, I was sceptical, but they do work.
  • Husband has started using refillable coffee pods. I am thrilled.
  • I’ve switched to more eco friendly dishwasher tablets
  • Not buying new clothes.  I did buy the odd new thing, but the majority of what I bought was from charity shops.  I quite enjoyed not buying new things and is the main factor in prompting me to want to try embellishing my own clothes.  There are a few things I nearly threw out then rescued with the idea of changing them a bit, or adding new details to bring them back to life. 

Far too late in the summer season I had the idea of lending out beach equipment to people coming on their holidays.  I’d really like to try to get that off the ground this year if I can.

I’ve continued to enjoy exercising and love the difference that it makes to how I feel on a daily basis. Towards the end of the year I have definitely had more energy with a reduction in pain. I really hope that this continues throughout the next year.

The key thing I’d like to continue into the year is living in this moment and trying not to worry too much about what might happen if.  I do still find it very easy to catastrophise about the future and can quickly move from minor event to certain death.  Slowly, I am starting to recognise it as a thought that is unlikely to come true. 

So there we have it.  A new year with, largely, nothing new happening.  And I have to say, I quite like it. 

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